As summer approaches, Lakeside captain cheerleader Sommer Laliberte is wondering what her new life will be like beyond high school. But, what she does know is what she's learned over the past 4 years and the people closest to her have prepared her for whatever the future has in store.
She says sometimes people don’t realize how much of a sport cheerleading is.
"We have actual human beings in the air and they are just tossing around footballs and basketballs," she said with a smile. "Dumb, pretty faces, that's not the case."
But, Sommer is much more than just a cheerleader.
"I'm a Lakeside Ambassador, I'm on student council, homecoming queen this year, I was Ms. Lakeside, The UCA All-American award, Webster Parish Fairy Queen, very involved in my youth group."
Her friend and teammate Kendall Brunson, said, "She finds something wants, she's going to get it, that's who she is. She doesn't settle for less."
Sommer added, "You really only have this life to live so why not just do anything you can."
Sommer’s mother, Tina, said, "I think what I have to be most proud of her over the years, not just academically or sports oriented or everything she accomplishes in school, is her faith in God."
Faith in God and Christianity, it's her foundation she says. But, that foundation began to shake two years ago when her parents separated.
"I just knew that the most important times of high school were coming up and I was about to have to go through one of the worst times of my life"
Tina said, "Oh God it was a life changing experience. She and I aren't just mother and daughter, we're best friends and all that did was bond us even closer. She depended on me in ways that she never has before and as a mother I depended on her in ways that I never had before. We supported each other and found our faith together."
And now the two best friends are months from another separation as Sommer moves away to college but she hopes people will remember her for faith and dedication to helping others.
"Even if nobody reaches out to you, it's better to go ahead and reach out to other people because but you may not know it but you have an impact on their life."
"She's taught me no matter what, you just keep striving forward and always look for the good in everything. God knows what's going to take place and it's all going to end good if you just keep that faith in him," added Tina.
As she accepted her Landers Athlete of the Week trophy, Sommer said, "I just want to thank my mom for being my biggest supporter and my teammates who are basically my family and all my other friends and family for pushing me to do my best no matter what I do and I want to thank Ms. Darlene Couch for nominating me, along with my cheer sponsor Ms. Kim Austin and I'd like to thank God for just blessing me in more ways that I can count."
Copyright 2016 KSLA. All rights reserved.